After the announcement of the timeframe of elections by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), major political parties in the former ruling alliance welcomed the development, hoping that it would dispel apprehensions about the political situation of the country.
“The final list of constituencies will be published on November 30. After that, elections will be held in the last week of January 2024,” the commission said in a statement.
Reacting to the development, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) viewed it as positive development while Awami National Party (ANP) demanded a specific date. However, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) decided to challenge the move in court.
After the announcement, PTI has decided to challenge the Commission’s decision to conduct elections in the last week of January.
While talking to Geo News, PTI’s core committee member Niazullah Niazi said that the Constitution calls for elections within 90 days, and exceeding the period is unlawful.
“We will challenge the Election Commission’s decision. The way the ECP is working it does not look like a constitutional institution,” Niazi said, adding that President Arif Alvi has the authority to announce a date for polls.
Senior PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal stated that his party welcomed the decision by the ECP as it has ended uncertainty about delimitations.
“Everyone knew from the first day that the election commission was bound to conduct delimitation after the census,” he said.
“Earlier, the ECP had said to complete the delimitation process by December 15 after which the polls were estimated to be held in February next year. However, our party had given suggestions to the ECP to reduce the delimitation period. In the light of those suggestions, the ECP reduced the delimitation time till November 30 and then announced elections at the end of January after the 54-day period,” he added.
He further added, “It is important that the elections are held peacefully, and a stable government is formed that takes the country out of the economic crisis.”
PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira stated that he could only give his own opinion on the matter but viewed the development as “positive”.
The former federal minister said that uncertainty would end and things would hopefully move in a positive direction. “Let’s hope for the best.”
Meanwhile, the Awami National Party has urged the ECP to fix an exact date for the election.
Senior ANP leader Zahid Khan said that his part has demanded that elections be held in 90 days and the party raised the same issue when they met Chief Election Commissioner Sikandar Sultan Raja.
MQM-P leader Mustafa Kamal told Geo news that they are satisfied with the development.
However, he said it is yet to be seen whether the ECP would address the party’s concerns regarding the demarcation of constituencies after publishing an initial list of delimitation.
The former Karachi mayor said his party would file a complaint if they found any problem with the delimitation process.